Tiger Woods has refused possibly the biggest potential pay cheque to play in the European Tour’s inaugural event in Saudi Arabia next year. The decision came amid international outcry over the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
He turned down a £2.5 million pay cheque that is seemingly the largest he has ever been offered for an official international tournament. He has previously travelled to China and the United Arab Emirates for which he was offered a handsome appearance fee. It is unknown whether Woods’ refusal to play is for political reasons or his back problems.
Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Paul Casey have already agreed to play in the government-sponsored match. The event has become controversial after the Khashoggi’s murder and the kingdom’s role in it.
Roger Federer has also snubbed a $1 million offer to play in Jeddah on December 22 however, Rafael Nadal and Noval Djokovic have signed up for it.
Nadal and Djokovic have been under pressure to withdraw, however, they have said they will continue their tour.
Inviting golfers and tennis players is part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s long-term plan to project a positive image of Saudi Arabia.